Archive | March, 2011

The Terrible Two’s

20 Mar

Well, Hank celebrated a birthday this week and it seems the terrible two’s have come to the Knapp house.

I should have known this was coming from the little act of rebellion Hank pulled last week. We were coming back from dropping Ryan’s forgotten lunch off at the mill. In my haste and pajamas, I had not put Hank on his leash for the ride thinking that we wouldn’t need it. Oh how wrong I was. The trunk was only open for a second when he bolted out of the back and headed down the street. In my firmest voice, which I have been told by two friends is not as scary as I once thought, I started yelling for Hank to “get back here!” In doggie language, “get back here” must be short for “go right ahead and do whatever you want. I’m sure that if you walk up to enough front doors someone will let you in.” At this point I am half walking, half jogging down the gravel road in my pajamas in the rain with a giggling Abigail bouncing along on my hip. In the scariest voice I could find (which probably was more like a panicky voice) I yell once more, “HANK. GET OVER HERE. NOW!” He bounded towards me but just as I reached out to grab his collar he bolted to the left and onto the golf course. Awesome. Well, as you can imagine, I continued yelling and Hank continued frolicking on the greens. At this point the rain was coming down harder and I was beyond irritated. I started heading back down the street for home. I turned around once more just in time to witness him squatting to take what would become the biggest poop of his life. Right in the middle of the fairway leading to the 4th hole. When his royal highness was finished he came running to me at top speed with the proud look of a dog whose life long dream had been fulfilled.

Hank’s good behavior doesn’t just stop outside, he brings it inside, too. Like when the mailman rang our doorbell to give us a package. Hank used his head like a crowbar to get out of the door to say hello and then tried to climb into the mail truck. Or maybe I should tell you about his neurotic tendency to greet visitors with a shoe in his mouth that has now translated into our daughter crawling around with a baby shoe in her mouth.

But the most frequent act of terrible-ness is his ability to make food vanish from Abigail’s high chair tray. And that is gross and sad and just wrong. I mean…stealing from a baby….who does that? So I’m trying as hard as I can to issue out some tough love in our house starting with table manners. He had been doing really well, standing away from the table and even laying down on the floor while Abigail was eating. I was really proud of him. So I didn’t think anything of handing Abigail a couple of crackers in her pack-n-play while I did a quick vacuum. I was coming around a corner when I saw it. A little hand dangling a cracker in front of a Newfoundland resting peacefully on the floor. I continued to watch as that little hand reached out further, stretching down as far as it could go, even enlisting tiptoes as a method to get even closer. I mean, what’s a Newf to do? The temptation was just too much, and he took the cracker with a swift but gentle chomp as Abigail laughed and clapped and pushed another cracker up to his nose.

Yes, the terrible two’s have come to the Knapp house. They’re terrible alright. And there’s two of them.


My Long, and Somewhat Winding Road

7 Mar

There is a space between where you once were and where you are now. In that space lives two parts of one self – the half that can’t stop looking back and the half that tugs forward. I have been in that space for many months finding it hard to push the past from dominating my daily thoughts. It hasn’t been easy to come to terms with a version of myself that didn’t include weekly newsletters, grading papers, and creating my little 2nd grade bubble. It has not been easy to start once again at the beginning of a friendship when you know there are friendships in a different place where you share so much history and ease. And it hasn’t been easy getting used to a totally new climate. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of someone from back home. It is kind of ridiculous how many things make the memories come. And I get sad. A lot. And I fight so hard to hold back the tears that once in a while still find me by telling myself that each month that passes is one month closer to getting back home. Because I still miss it so much.

But there is still that second part of myself. The one that keeps tugging me forward knowing that you can’t stand still forever. And I haven’t. Because dinners with new friends, playdates, and the chance to explore a new place won’t let me. I am grateful for those people that have helped my life here find some roots. They probably don’t know how a walk or a text message or an invitation to do something has helped me find happiness here. A piece of my heart will always be back east in Virginia. You can’t live somewhere for nearly 30 years and not feel that way, but now I have hope that a piece of my heart will also be here in Oregon. Because home isn’t just one place, at least not for me.